Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Where's the Tin Man when you need him? Part 3

So where did we leave off?

Ok. I admit it’s been a little while…but here it goes part 3: (it’s a long one!)

After lunch I drove back to the little house I was staying in, I imagined Tornado's dropping out of the sky. Yelling "We've got cows!" as they fly by the windshield.

I parked on the dusty main street lined with brick buildings and Victorian homes. And looked at my little prairie house

I walked out into the middle of the wide, abandoned street. ‘Here I am’ I thought to myself. I slowly turned around and let the moment imprint in my brain like one of those forever snapshots. Closing my eyes I can see it like I’m back again. So not to seem like a complete idiot I walked over to the office for the Rexford Hotel to find a phone. For it was time to call my mother’s best friend.

Meanwhile MY friend was still sleeping. I guess I was meant to experience this alone.

Finding a phone was an adventure in and of itself. My cell phone definitely was in a land where it didn’t belong. When I found an office, which had a phone that I could use I found I could barely speak. Hearing the voice on the other end talking about my mother was almost too much. Janette, the best friend, was to meet me at the little prairie house after she dropped off lunch to her husband in the field (how cute is that!) and had her hair set at the beauty shop (again, adorable!). So I would go back and wait.

My friend, now awake, was making herself a peanut butter sandwich. I relayed my stories from the day. After commiserating with me about the night to come (crashing the local nightspot.) She retired to her room and I curled up in front of the air conditioner with my book to await Janette.

So wait I did. It must time to get a your “hair set” whatever that even is, because it was 3 hours before she showed up. It was the country after all things are slower there.

I wish I could relay her exact words but they ran together and followed the same theme. It was almost too much, all the stories and emotions. I just wanted to run but at the same time there was nowhere else I could be but there.

My mother, the same woman who never left my house, hated shopping, and avoided all social functions was being described as just the opposite.

She was known in the town as always having fabulous dresses, a detailed sense of style and a large circle of friends. She sang in with a quartet of girls and her range was so wide that she could sing any part. She laughed and danced. She had big dreams and plans that involved leaving this small town and experiencing the life outside.

When she was in nursing school with Janette in Denver. It was the early 60’s and they would go see Jazz shows (even Miles Davis), Watch Doris Day and Audrey Heyburn movies, Double Date and laugh all the time.

I don’t remember hearing my mom laugh very often.

Then Janette got married. My mother left nursing school soon after and joined her family in Montana where they had since moved. They lost touch for many years after that.

Janette recounted how just a few years ago she tracked down my mother’s number and gave her a call. The time period was after my mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was already quite confused. She said that at first when she called (not knowing that my mom was ill) my mom seemed very out of it. However, after a few minutes of Janette reminding her of the past my mom clicked into clarity and they had a two hour long talk reminiscing and laughing about old times.

There were two very different women that inhabited my mother’s body. I wish I had seen this side of her. I’m not sure why she hid within herself and the walls of our home while I grew up but at least I was able to see her now. Through her friend the loved her, looked up to her and never saw her at her lowest.

She also gave me two small paintings that my grandmother had painted and walked me back to the church next door. Inside she showed me the Mural that my Grandmother painted around the baptismal. It was a whimsical portrayal of the river Jordan (which my friend, who had been there, said it looked exactly like).

After she left I sat outside and let the whole conversation settle in.

Then came Tornado.


Anonymous said...
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BethInPortland said...

"...imprint in my brain like one of those forever snapshots."
Yes, that is the perfect description.
I am simultaneously happy for you that you could learn about your mom and her wonderful life and sad for you that you could not know her like her friend did.
Life is often so bittersweet.
It doesn't surprise me too much, though, that your mom was stylish, social, and popular.
You are a chip off the block miss hotty totty!
I love you!

Anonymous said...
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Flyingwaitress said...

Beth how sweet of you!

Flyingwaitress said...

Spam so not cool! me sad because of spam.

Dirk the Feeble said...

That's an amazing picture of the twister. Although I question the mental fortitude of both the driver of the vehicle in the picture as well as the camera operator who took the picture.

Sloop said...

So, when did Helen Hunt and Judy Garland show up?

p.s. You can delete the comment spam, you know. Just click on the little trash can, when you're signed in.

Flyingwaitress said...

Sloop, They showed up for tea and cookies later.

Thanks for the spam help!

at36000ft said...

check me out

Sloop said...

It's been a month. Update, please!

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